SPOKANE, Wash – One of Spokane’s most prolific career criminals was indicted this week in federal court. The indictment comes just a year after he was granted release from prison because of COVID concerns.
Eddie Ray Hall has been in prison many times and has been convicted of more than a dozen felonies.
In 2011, a judge sentenced Hall to 16 years in prison on drug trafficking charges.
Last summer, Hall petitioned the court for an early release from prison, saying his medical conditions made it dangerous for him to be there during a COVID outbreak.
According to his motion for sentence reduction, Hall was in a federal prison in Michigan which had already had more than 120 confirmed cases. According to the document, COVID was a “potential death sentence for Mr. Hall, who has hepatitis C, chronic kidney disease, and lost his spleen and most of his bowel after a gunshot wound in the 1980s.”
His attorneys wrote that releasing Hall’s sentencing and putting him under supervision instead was “humanitarian.” The request also says that the court “sentenced Mr. Hall to prison for his crime, not to a Russian-roulette style chance of death.”
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The plea also said that Hall could move to rural Montana with his cousin. There, he said he would avoid the virus, attend drug treatment counseling and get mental health treatment.
The federal government opposed the release, saying Hall had the highest criminal history category possible.
“His criminal history is infamous, including burglaries, drug offenses, even an attempt to escape a correctional facility,” attorneys wrote, citing the judge’s own writings about Hall. “He has been given repeated chances for reform, only to commit further crimes.”
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Whaley approved the request last August, saying Hall had already served most of his sentence and was at high risk for COVID complications.
On Wednesday, a federal indictment charged Hall with possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of meth.
Court documents in the original case reveal that in November, just three months after his release, a “sweat patch” revealed Hall had used meth, heroin and opiates on several occasions. He denied using drugs and a hearing was set to determine if he violated his probation.
The court twice delayed the hearing; it was eventually rescheduled for February 19th.
Nine days before that hearing was supposed to take place, Hall was accused of violating his probation again. He admitted using meth once a day for a one-week period.
His probation officer also found that Hall had traveled to Spokane, which he was not allowed to do without permission from his probation officer.
He was placed on home detention.
Two days later, his probation officer said he was not at home and wasn’t able to be found. In a document dated February 12, 2021, the probation officer said “as of this writing, the offender’s whereabouts are unknown.”
One week later, on February 19th, police arrested Hall at the Rodeway Inn in Spokane. The probation officer wrote “Law enforcement had also received information that Mr. Hall was possibly involved in trading firearms with his drug supplier in exchange for illegally controlled substances.”
Officers found that Hall had drugs, a drug pipe and a “large amount” of cash in his pocket.
Since that arrest, court files show a series of hearings on whether Hall violated his probation have been scheduled and canceled in this case and several attorneys have withdrawn.
The court reassigned the probation violation case to another judge this week, one day after his new indictment on the drug trafficking charges.
Court records show Hall is being held in the Whitman County Jail in Colfax, where he was booked on July 21st.
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